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New NC School Bus Safety Laws

The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed the Senate Bill 16, which revokes the driver’s license of anyone who has been penalized by breaking the school-bus stop law.  This new bill also requires a year-long suspension if the driver hits a pedestrian and a two-year-long suspension if the victim is killed in the accident. If passed by the legislature and signed into law, the bill would take effect Dec. 1.

North Carolina committee team members have considered developing a way for school buses around the state to have a stop-arm camera so that the law breakers can be caught in the act, which will help the law enforcement have more control.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, 13-year-old Jesus Ortiz was crossing the street after getting off the school bus early one Thursday morning in February 2013, and as he was crossing he was hit by a passing motorist who did not stop at the bus stop-arm. Ortiz had severe lacerations on his face and a broken leg. The motorist was charged with driving with a revoked license, passing a stopped school bus and having unsafe tires. It’s important to be prepared with an experienced auto accident lawyer in these situations.

There have been many of these incidents throughout the years in North Carolina which caused the state to add a provision to an existing law allowing the use of automated camera and video recording systems to detect and prosecute violators.

According to the North Carolina Department of Instruction, school bus drivers reported seeing 3,196 vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses at 2,299 bus stops statewide during the one-day Operation Stop Arm count in 2012.

The majority of these traffic law violators are just people who are unaware of their surroundings, half the time they don’t even know they are driving dangerously. Many drivers are on “auto-pilot” or are on their cell phones not paying attention to what they might encounter on the road.

This entry was posted in Child Safety & Injury, Motor Vehicle Accidents.
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